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Community Foundation Annual Garden Party at the O’Neills’

The George O’Neills hosted their annual Garden Party for the Community Foundation of Oyster Bay-East Norwich on Sunday, May 29. It is traditionally held over the Memorial Day weekend.

Once again, Helen and Charles Dolan and the Dolan Foundation underwrote the expenses of the garden party, a great benefit since those funds raised go to support the CF of OB-EN, along with their fund drive and rental income. This year their goal was $200,000.

CF of OB-EN Board President Joseph Donohue said, “It was one of those beautiful days in Oyster Bay. I’ve been so happy to be on the board for a number of years. I serve on different boards, but this is local, and tangible and the work of the community foundation is unique and focused on making Oyster Bay a better place. Youth and Family Counseling is terrific and our biggest grantee. The Oyster Bay Main Street Association, the Life Enrichment Center, the Parent-Home-Child Program, they all do something that makes Oyster Bay a better place to live, and the Community Foundation is helping them do it.

“I’m taking over from past president David Demming and being more direct with stating the needs of the foundation to make sure it is forever. There are two things that fund the Community Foundation, the Garden Party and the Annual Fund Drive. Sometimes people get a little murky about the needs of the two events, but they really are a two-fer. We need the Garden Party and we need the Annual Fund Drive.

“There were 271 people at the Garden Party, making things better for everyone.” It almost set a new record for attendance.

Mr. Donohue said he has been on the board for about six years. “The O’Neills are our neighbors and when they speak – we listen. They are just incredible, philanthropic people. Literally, when they say ‘jump’ you eagerly say, ‘how high’ he said.”

The Oyster Bay community is a better place because of people being responsive in helping the O’Neills as they make Oyster Bay a better place to live.

Nassau County Legislator Judy Jacobs (D-16th L.D.) attended the garden  party and had wonderful things to say of them too. Ms. Jacobs said, “I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the O’Neills.   

“They are such a special couple who give so much of themselves to help others.”

In the annual appeal brochure the board said, “Each year, the foundation asks that we do our part to  preserve and improve our community and we know that we can count on you. This year is no exception. Our local organizations are facing severe funding cutbacks – the Youth & Family Counseling Agency, the Bulluck Horizons Program, the Parent-Child Home Program, the Life Enrichment Center of Oyster Bay (the former DBSC), and the Oyster Bay Main Street Association need our help more than ever before! They rely on each of us to help sustain the great work they do.”

The 2010 budget showed Annual Giving, $132,645; Garden Party support $44,050; Rental Income, $6,000; Special and Memorial Gifts, $9,100; and transfer from endowment, $88,159 for a total income of $279,954.

The CF of OB-EN gave grants to eight local not-for-profit groups including: Youth & Family Counseling Agency, $128,875; Parent-Child Home Program, $67,500; Doubleday Babcock Senior Center (LEC of OB), $8,298; Horizon/Bulluck Fund, $4,960; BOB Summer Program, $5,000; O.B. Main Street Association, $30,000; Hispanic Cultural Center, $20,000; WaterFront Center, $8,500.

The CF of OB-EN was founded in 1965. The board of trustees continually evaluates the needs of the community in an effort to help provide the services that improve the lives of their neighbors.

This year, Joseph Donohue is the board president; Christena McNicol, vice-president; David Townsend, treasurer; Augusta Reese Donohue, secretary; Susan Sheeline, assistant secretary.

The YFCA of OB-EN (largest grantee of the Community Foundation) board of directors includes: President Tim Archdeacon; Robin G. Senior, vice-president, fundraising; The Rev. Dr. Peter Casparian, vice-president; George J. Sheehan, D.D.S., treasurer; Nathaniel W. Peirce, Ed.D., secretary.

Donations to the CF of OBEN are always welcome and can be mailed to: Community Foundation, 200 Sunset Road, Oyster Bay, NY 11771.